Believe it or not, I was one of those nerdy and awkward kids that loved school. Well actually, to be honest, I loved the cool new stuff I got for school. Sadly, I don’t think I have changed all that much - I love getting new school, errrr, office supplies. But seriously, who doesn’t need a high heel-shaped tape dispenser?
This time of year, I remember the list of school supplies I needed. My mom and I would go out and buy each item brand new.
Today I ask myself, why did I need a new backpack when my old one worked just fine? Why did I need new pencils when my mechanical pencils just needed lead? Why did I need new notebooks when my old ones still had paper left in them? Bottom line: I liked new things. I think many people can relate to that no matter what context it is in.
But now everyone’s going green! I am absolutely amazed by some of the eco-friendly school supplies they have on the market these days:
- Backpacks made from plastic bottles
- Soy crayons
- Recycled paper and notebooks
- Biodegradable pens
- Recycled highlighters and markers
- Bamboo clothing?!
As I’ve said in previous posts, I think it is possible, and still beneficial, to take on some eco-friendly habits even if they aren’t to the extreme. I’m sticking with my new shopping mantra: choose quality over quantity. It may not be recycled, but you are still choosing a product that will last longer than the traditional cheap products you have to replace each year.
For school, this can be as simple as:
- Use a reusable lunch bag and containers instead of brown paper lunch bags and plastic sandwich bags. I must say, I am much more fashionable now that I have a zebra print lunch bag.
- When I was in school I got a new backpack every year until I finally asked for an L.L. Bean backpack (to match my sister’s of course) for Christmas one year. I used that backpack from 4th grade to my senior year of high school. In fact, I think I still have it.
- Use refillable pens and pencils instead of ones that run out leaving a useless plastic object you have to throw away.
- Use a sturdy canvas binder instead of a plastic one that will likely break in a month or two.
- Purchase clothes that are higher quality and ones that you can use for multiple seasons. Cardigans are a lifesaver.
- Purchase used books for your classes. I bet you can find books that look brand new.